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Durango’s food tax rebate and utility refund program taking applications

7,761 utility accounts serviced in 2023
People shop at south City Market in Durango in 2021. The city of Durango announced on Monday its annual food tax rebate and utility refund program is accepting applications through July 5. Residents living within city limits and earning no greater than 50% of the area median income for La Plata County may be eligible for money back. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald file)

The city of Durango’s food tax rebate and utility refund program is now open, meaning residents living within city limits can apply for rebates.

The application deadline is July 5, but there are qualifications residents have to meet before they are eligible for rebates or refunds.

Residents with a total household income equal to or less than 50% of the area median income in La Plata County may qualify for a rebate or refund, which are determined by family size, according to news release from the city.

Residents must have lived within city limits for all of 2023 to qualify for a food tax rebate. Applicants must list all family members in their household, along with each of their incomes.

The city provides a simple guide for household sizes and incomes, plus corresponding rebate values, on its website, including:

  • A resident in a one-person household earning up to $36,400 is eligible for a food tax rebate of $145.
  • A two-person household earning up to $41,600 is eligible for a rebate of $272.
  • A household of three with a total annual income less than or equal to $46,800 is eligible for a rebate of $307.

Households consisting of four or more people altogether earning less than or equal to $51,950 are eligible for a refund of $367.

For utility refunds, households are eligible for refunds of $216, $368, $417 and $485 based on the same household size and income limits as food tax rebates.

Durango Chief Financial Officer Devon Schmidt said at a Durango City Council study session on Tuesday that of the 7,761 utility accounts serviced last year, nearly 3,648 accounts (47%) were enrolled in paperless billing.

She said that is an increase of residents using paperless billing of 44% compared to 2022, “which is a great sustainability effort.”

Of the 7,761 utility accounts, 5,801 accounts were residential and 1,063 accounts were commercial, she said.

The city’s bulk water filling station has about 1,180 accounts, with 431 total active users in 2023. Looking closer, there were 352 residential users and 89 commercial users last year, she said.

Residents can find the food tax rebate and utility refund application online at durangoco.gov/rebates and print it out, complete it and submit it to Durango City Hall.


A previous version of this story included incorrect information about two areas of household income eligibility and how applications can be submitted.

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